Retour au numéro
View 102 times
01 June 2022

In a world that is still rather masculine, this is the story of a female leader who “lives” in the company she created.

Béatrice worked in different support departments at Airbus before co-creating Syntony with her husband, she followed a Leadership Job course. She wanted to learn to be an entrepreneur and legitimize her position. It is never easy being the « wife of » even with a degree in your pocket.



 

 


 Béatrice Korsakissok
TBS Executive Professions 2016
Secretary General, SYNTONY GNSS France 

From her studies, Béatrice learned a lot about the strategic vision of a company, the meaning and usefulness of marketing and everything about the financial aspect. During her TBS year she was the only woman among nine to have the idea of entrepreneurship. She recommends this path that gave her stability and strength of character.

Today she co-manages Syntony, created in 2015, a technological SME specialized in GNSS systems, which designs and produces radiological equipment (simulators, receivers, data recorders). They have built a diversified Company composed of 4 very different fields of action (aeronautics, space, public transport, mining fields) and are very internationally oriented. They have grown by learning from the customer’s needs and building the vision beyond it.

 

Co-founder and vice-president of Syntony she shares her family adventure.

She fully embraces her complementarity with her husband. Working as a couple has been a revelation : they discovered their respective hidden sides and the intellectual power they use in their work. Even though they share the same values, choices for Syntony have also put them at odds. They were able to find a consensus to perpetuate their relationship as well as the entrepreneurial adventure. They are able to disconnect from work on weekends, to get together as a family and to be able to ask themselves the right questions, prioritize issues over prejudices and problems that are not there.

A female leader that found her place in the rather male dominated world of engineers 

At Syntony, there are eleven women out of a total of fifty employees, including two in R&D, which represents two thirds of Syntony’s activity. Informal exchanges and propitious moments are encouraged, as well as intellectual agility: Pastries in the morning, open doors, the production area and the coffee area separated by a bay window (following a visit to Elon Musk's factories) to highlight the difficulties of production and implicitly stimulate team cohesion. “Syntonie” is the moment when the instruments tune up. A very nice symbol of their profession! The tuning of the GNSS signals answers this particular work harmony, of a respect between all the stakeholders of the company which are anchored in their values.

Béatrice learned to know herself through different experiences, some more difficult than others, as an employee,  and to find the resources to rise above these trials. This has been very formative for her position as a leader: the non-respect of the most essential human values is not tolerable in her company. According to her, leadership is not about setting an example by arriving before everyone else in the morning. It is about living the vision, transcribing it dynamically, giving oneself the means to share it, to encourage it and to help people achieve it... A company is above all a team that wants to pursue the (in)accessible star together, not "a bunch of friends".

Béatrice joined an international network of women entrepreneurs in the United States chaired by Martine LIAUTAUD who mentored her. She was also inspired by the Americans and Northern Europeans by organizing creativity groups to move forward on these issues. She tried to create intimacy with her team at the beginning by sharing part of the private sphere (BBQ in the garden, etc.) but this disturbed the balance of the company. You have to know how to keep a garden secret . 

Bringing people into permanent change is a daily game. It's hard to tell if you're right to be too nice. The challenge is to keep the balance and retain skills. This requires listening, co-construction, the search for benevolence and mutual commitment.

Male and female positions are complementary.

For Beatrice, to be a woman is hard but it also builds a courage and an inner strength in an innate way. Women, gifted with an extraordinary power of resilience, are forced to have a cool head to make decisions, even in the most difficult moments. Female leadership is complementary to male leadership. Men and women fight differently: men, who are more direct, tend to opt for 'conflict' and laugh about it afterwards; women will try to understand, to co-construct the relationship, to re-establish and try to find consensus. Sometimes you have to go to the front very quickly. Sometimes it's better to go in more slowly, more subtly. There is a balance between the enthusiasm and the quiet strength necessary for the management and development of a company. Women are just as bold, but from different angles. Moreover, women must be present in all types of positions because it is nourishing for the teams, there are all the profiles in them as there are  in men. 

"The world is not a better place if it is run only by women”.

 

The younger generations inspire a new managerial position

Before Covid, Syntony hired one person per month. Recruitment is an exchange base on listening and co-construction in order to manage goodwill and verify compatibility of collaboration. When recruiting, she first looks for competent people. If they are women, that's great! The employee commitment rate is remarkable. Turnover is very low.

To reach out to the younger generation, she uses mentoring and interventions in higher education institutions to motivate young women to enter the scientific and technical professions. Syntony hires apprentices. By paying for their studies, they participate in their co-construction and hire them on completion if they have proved themselves. Apprentices are present in all the company's functions. They have retained talents that are now nuggets. They are very different employees to work with, ready to get involved more spontaneously.

This generation works for a living but is aware that existence on earth is not about just working. More sensible than their parents' generation, they are able to show where they want to go by their actions. They are an example of incredible maturity!

The intergenerational aspect is important to learn to respect each other, the mix is a winner. When young graduates arrive at Syntony, they are very sharp but they have no idea what it means to move in the professional world, they need to be helped to guarantee success for everybody. At Syntony, there are all age groups: young people bring enthusiasm and freshness, and help the vision to grow; middle-aged people have knowledge of the professional world; older people bring their seniority, they have already lived their lives and have a lot of experience to share.

Higher education must reinvent itself

Our education system does not fully prepare students to enter professional life. There should be more room for 'learning by doing'. Even if they don't all go into apprenticeships, the education of these future talents should be more inclusive in focusing on what they want to do. They need to be empowered to know themselves and to find the paths that will make them happy in their lives.

Among engineers, a real plus would be to integrate training on communication, team management and business management. They would be more open to the world of employment and would better understand their aspirations. The end-of-study internships are too short. There should be a more pragmatic way of accompanying students. In order for them to be successful in business after their studies, they need to be accompanied. We would have more strength for the development of our companies.

Some advice to young women for more managerial audacity

Building a good network, especially a female one, has helped Beatrice to glean ideas and to compare herself with other female entrepreneurs. She is now involved in EquaI ID, 100 000 entrepreneurs on the theme "Tell me about your strengths" to inspire young girls and explain to them that they are capable.

Dare to be yourself. It is a strength of being a woman: to realise that we have everything in our brain to do, to mobilise the right resources at the right time. Women have the same intellectual capacities as men. They should dare to use them! You have to be aware of your potential by remaining yourself, without wanting to repress your desires to put them before those of others...

Beatrice tries to deconstruct the 'luck' arguments to make them realise that they have the tenacity to follow their dream. Only the careers you dream of are successful.

 

“Be who you want to be, give yourself your dream!”

 

 







Posted by

Accompagnement de dirigeants en management de l'innovation
Management de projets complexes
Coordination de programmes entrepreneuriaux Voir l'autre publication de l'autrice

Articles du numéro

Comments

Comments

You have to be logged in to leave a comment Log in